The Brand of You

3 Jul

Here’s Part 2 of 2 in a my series on Personal Branding. (For Part 1 go here).

No matter where you’re building your personal brand, a critical component of communicating it is likely to happen on the Internet. Although the importance of branding has been known for decades in the large corporate arena, where billions of dollars get spent each year in “brand building” campaigns, it is the Web that has driven the surge of interest in branding at the personal level. It eliminates many traditional barriers to commerce while reinforcing the word-of-mouth value of that special something that makes each business—each person—unique, i.e., its brand.

How to stand out among the masses? Branding!

This idea of the Web driving a new age of personal branding may have been expressed first by management guru Tom Peters in an article in Fast Magazine in 1997. Everyone needs to be “the CEO of Me, Inc.,” he argued. In Peters’ words, “branding means nothing more (and nothing less) than creating a distinct personality…and telling the world about it.”

Web sites create the potential for your brand to have unprecedented reach. The branding communicated through your Web site will help drive your word-of-mouth campaign, and consistent branding will help get your emails opened, read and acted upon. Meanwhile blogs have become the Web tool du jour for personal branding among certain segments—particularly writers and technical professionals.

But another critical aspect of “brand building” for small firms and solo entrepreneurs is the classic standby: growing your network. A clearly defined brand will make that process simpler—who you are and what you do will be easier to remember if you have done your brand homework—but it still requires getting your brand in front of people the old-fashioned way, one handshake at a time.

Social Media is the phenomenon that allows you to bring your website and your networking together. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram provide the container for your real-time brand-related updates, invites and announcements to those you know as well as others interested in your great work.

William Arruda, head of the personal branding consultancy Reach lists three tips for making the most of your personal brand to build your business:

• Make sure that everything that surrounds your brand (your office, Web site, customer service organization, etc.) communicates the same brand message.

• Build and nurture your professional network and ensure that all members understand your brand message.

• Establish appropriate partnerships to extend your brand and gain complementary brand value.

A personal brand won’t necessarily turn you into the next Oprah but it provides a valuable tool to define and refine what you do and how you express it to your tribe: your customers, clients and fans.

Share with us here: what are 3 qualities you embody that can be leveraged to position your Personal Brand of Brilliance?

My 31-Day Blogging Challenge!

2 Jul

OK friends, drum-roll please… I’ve committed to the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and today, July 1st, 2012 is Day 1!

This is an event that happens at least twice a year and is hosted by lovely ladies Michele Scism and Michelle Shaeffer. Hundreds of folks participate and there’s even a private Facebook support group provided for accountability and support.

I decided to go for it as my blog has been in a slumber for most of the year thus far even though I stated early on in the year that I’d be rocking out with more posts, musings and shares. Well like the post I did back on January 8th, 2012 of this year says: Ho’omaka Hou; Begin Again!

Check out “Ho’omaka Hou” by Olomana!

It’s never too late to start anew and Re-Birth! That’s the Beauty, Nature and Reality of Spirit! There’s no time and no judging. There’s only a letting go of the memory and tie to what hasn’t served and from this place of Alignment, the Choice I make is to Begin Again… and so it is!

Aloha Pumehana, Dewi

Do You Express Your Personal Brand with Aloha?

1 Jul

This article is number 1 in a series of 2. Stay tuned for the companion piece in tomorrow’s post.

The idea of a “personal brand” is something we all understand…at least as it relates to celebrities. Figures like Madonna, Martha Stewart and Lance Armstrong can craft and maintain their brands as methodically as the Startbucks and the Nikes of the corporate world.

But a personal brand for you and me? Absolutely, says personal branding guru Peter Montoya. The issue, in fact, isn’t whether to create a personal brand, but how to create the most effective and authentic one you can.

“Everyone has a personal brand, whether they like it or not,” says Montoya, author of The Brand Called You and The Personal Branding Phenomenon. The idea is to craft that brand so that it creates a clear and memorable impression about who you are and what you do—whether you are a small business owner, a solo entrepreneur or even a visionary artist.

A personal brand is “the powerful, clear, positive idea that comes to mind whenever other people think of you,” Montoya explains. It’s the values, abilities and actions you stand for, or, as he puts it, your personal brand is “who you are, what you do, and what makes you different or how you create value for your target market.”

In that sense a personal brand is a little broader than a corporate brand, but it’s not just a synonym for professional marketing. In fact, most personal branding experts say the process of developing a personal brand turns the typical marketing process on its head. Instead of starting with segmenting, targeting, product, price, etc., you start with…you.

You define who you are, what is truly important to you and what makes you unique—that special something that I call your Fundamental Radiance™ – and then you build your brand around that core set of values. In marketing speak, you uncover your “unique promise of value” aka as your “unique selling propositon”. From there, you identify exactly what segment of the market you want to serve and how best to do it.

Effective branding often means targeting a smaller, better defined market with a much more focused message, says William Arruda, head of the personal branding consultancy Reach. “Although it seems counterintuitive, the smaller you make your target market, the greater your chances of success.”

Tomorrow I’ll share Part II of this article and for those of you looking to clarify, craft and embody your Personal Brand of Brilliance so that you make a bigger impact with your mission, your message and your sales email me at support@dewimailelim.com to set-up a complementary 60-minute exploration session.

Shine Your Light With Social Media

28 Jan

The year was 2009 and I’d joined Facebook just the year before. One day while following a series of links and posts down the internet rabbit hole (you know how that goes!) I was led to a bubbly woman named Mari Smith. She was leading a Social Media in-a Day live-streaming event (technology I had never experienced before) and I decided to partake.

Fast forward three years and I have Mari to thank for assisting me with learning how to effectively navigate and harness the power of social media. I’ve come to adopt a purposeful yet fun-filled focus with my approach to communicating and building relationships online.

I’ve stayed in the loop with what Mari shares via her webinars, newsletters and posts online and recently was blessed with an opportunity to meet her in person. I learned about her most recent book The New Relationship Marketing (get a free 30 page excerpt of it here) that I’m super excited to dive into.

Take a few minutes to watch the trailer for the book (4 min); it’s a touching account of her journey and the message she shares resonates with how I feel: Social Media is a tool that allows us a wonderful opportunity to shine our light and inspire others. No matter if you have 10 followers or 10,000,000 – we all have the same blank canvas to paint from online. And it doesn’t cost a thing to get started!

Case in point, Mari’s hosting a free webinar on Jan. 31st called Facebook 2012. Even if you’ve been on a Facebook webinar in the past year, you know how quickly things change online… especially with everything going on at the world’s largest social network! Do yourself a favor and pick up Mari’s top 5 strategies for connecting and monetizing your business online in 2012. From what I hear, she’s got a whole lot more planned for the webinar, too!

[Register here for the webinar; let’s learn from Mari together!]

Just so you know, the spots are filling up fast for this webinar, and it’s less than a week away already. So if you want to join me on Mari’s call, it only takes a few seconds to click the link above and get yourself registered.

I hope to see you on the webinar!

[Harness the power of Facebook to Shine Your Light!]

P.S. Mari just let me know this is her biggest ever Facebook event – she’s going to be streaming live from a TV studio in San Diego along with her assistant Lori. Mari expects over 3,000 people to be on the live streaming webinar on January 31st. Be sure to save your spot now!

Ho’omaka Hou – Begin Again

8 Jan

Yesterday has disappeared
For the waking of the sun
Like rain touching the earth
New life has begun

Ho’omaka Hou

Live out what your life means
Ho’omaka Hou
Life runs in your veins
Ho’omaka Hou

The song begins again….

Ho’omaka Hou by Olomana

The theme of Rebirth is common this time of year. Yes, we’re a week into 2012 and more than ever before I’ve been noticing an abundance of commentary, exercises, suggestions, stated intentions and resolutions for the year ahead. Given the excitement around 2012 that’s been building for the past several years, the general consensus seems to be “it’s now or never”, “make this your best year yet” and “go for the gold!”.

Last year I got into saying “2012 is now” whenever I heard someone referring to, preparing for or anticipating 2012 (and more specifically, 12/21/12 – the end of the Mayan Calendar). It was my way of saying to them (and mySelf) let’s get present; we don’t need to wait until 2012 to shift whatever it is we want to shift; do it now!

I admit, I recently jumped on the bandwagon and installed a free widget on my Mac that now says that there’s 11 months and 13 days until “the hour is up”. Plus I’ve gotten some use out of what others have suggested to reflect on related to the awareness, gains and growth I’ve experienced in 2011.

And on the first of the year I went to Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s most sacred mountain, to participate in a ceremony where we released the things and ways of being that we no longer wanted to keep around and invited forth the things we want to experience more of.

This is all fine and great. I do appreciate myself for giving mySelf the experience of reflecting on last year as well as beginning to focus on what I’m Co-Creating going forward. And, what I know to be True at the core of my essence is that Every Moment is an Opportunity to be Birthed Anew in Spirit.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Jan. 8, 2012 or Dec. 21, 2012 or next week Saturday at 11:11am. NOW is where the miracles are experienced; that’s why it’s called the Present!

All it takes is making a decision; activating the Power of Choice – which is available to us each and every moment. Kind of like the choice I made to begin again with blogging here. Hey, it’s been over 6 months and I say now is as great a time as ever to post!

Ho’omaka Hou – Begin Again.
And again.
And again.
And again.

Talking Story With – Drew and Maria Brophy

2 Jun

Aloha friends!

This installment of Talking Story With is a 43 minute video interview with husband and wife creative dream team Drew and Maria Brophy.

I discovered Maria via Twitter and was compelled by her savvy, no-nonsense approach to assisting artists with licensing and business negotiation skills.

Her talented husband Drew is the world’s top surf lifestyle artist and they travel the world together along with their son inspiring folks to live the life of their dreams.

Be sure to check out Drew’s reality tv show The Paint Shop airing throughout California and Arizona as well as Maria’s blog for creative people: http://mariabrophy.com/

Brilliant Idea to Thriving Business – The Hidden Piece Not Taught in School

13 Apr

Aloha friends!

This link takes you to my first official guest post: A Brilliant Idea for Thriving Business: The Hidden Piece Not Taught in School that I created especially for Dan Fonseca’s blog Synapses.

http://whoisdanfonseca.com/2011/04/05/a-brilliant-idea-for-thriving-business-the-hidden-piece-not-taught-in-school/

It was a pleasure writing about this often looked-over element that holds the key to your personal as well as professional success. En-Joy reading and be sure to have a look around Dan’s site as well.

Mahalo and Bles-Sings, Dewi

The Simple Guide to Blogging – Guest Post

7 Apr

Aloha friends, enjoy a guest post today from Dan Fonseca of Synapes as he shares an easy-breezy how-to for getting started fast with your own blog. You may remember Dan from another post of his on personal branding I shared a few weeks back. En-Joy! Love, Dev

So you’re interesting in blogging huh? Well, good for you. In my mind, blogging is one of the best things you could do in this day and age. Your blog is a vehicle for expression, do with it what you will. It’s perfect for building your personal brand while learning a little about yourself and this world we live in. So where do we start?

Why Blog?

First, let me communicate the value of a blog. I hinted upon its branding capabilities already but a blog can be so much more. Need a place to get your ideas out? A little room for self actualization? Nothing enriches your thoughts more than by putting them down. The ability to link to other bodies of work only serves to paint a broader and deeper picture. The sky’s the limit!

It’s Easy

The Internet has ceased to be a scary place. This past decade, with the rise of web 2.0, has focused incredible energy towards ease and function of the web. Chances are this won’t be your first social media profile so you already have some experience setting one up. Blogs are no different.

The Benefits

Few tools today give you the power and platform that a blog does. A few benefits include:

Free Promo Tool-

Have a business you would like to promote? Blogs are social in nature, build something worthwhile and sooner or later you’ll get the attention you’re looking for. This is not to say that you should have a simple, “if you build it, they will come” mentality, rather think of this as a lower barrier of entry. No need to spend a significant amount of cash in order to get traffic and attention you need.

Beginners Website-

Who’s to say you blog can’t be your website? Hey, it’s mine 🙂 If your blog has your contact info, links to social media pages, product information, branding, and other media, how does that differ from any other website? Sure you have a little less control but starting out, a blog is perfect. Baby steps here people, baby steps.

Personal Brand-

I have been a long advocator for building your personal brand online. Like I said earlier, there is little to no barrier of entry. As a simple idea, think of your blog as a personal, adaptive, in depth resume. People are hiring people and not just qualifications on a page, show them how you think, work, and feel.

Networking Tool-

Just like any other social media tool, your blog can be used a platform to meet and converse with people. By creating a little niche in this world wide web, you can aggregate people with similar tastes and interests. Using your blog as a magnet for conversation, you will be amazed on what happens. As a personal example, this post you’re reading right now is a result of this sort of interaction. Dewi and I met through a guest blog post I did a couple of weeks ago on another site. We began talking and look where we are now 🙂 It could happen to you!

How To Start

Sign Up Through a Free Blog Site

There are numerous blog platforms out there for you to pick from. Here is a list of the more popular ones. Though they serve the same purpose, they vary slightly. I would suggest you take a quick look and find the best match for you. You can’t go wrong with either one though. Take a look.

Tumblr

WordPress

Blogger

TypePad

Choose a Theme and Name

Theme-

Though this is not a life or death decision, there should be a little thought put into this next step. Choosing a theme will help brand your blog, you will be able to change this but consistency counts for something right? No need to be fickle with your audience. After all, a brand is a brand, you don’t see Pepsi switching colors on you now do you?

Name-

Your username/blog title is a unique name that may be hard to change after the initial sign up. You may want to mediate on this for a while. Once you have come up with a name that will communicate what you want, hold on to it.

Now It’s Time To Start Blogging!

You have built the foundation, it’s time you furnish it with your dreams, passions, goals, and ideas. Create interesting posts that will drive conversation. Conversation is the key to blogging and with that the rest will follow. Use your blog as an opportunity to meet people, brand yourself, promote your product/ideas, and sharpen your communication skills.

Conclusion

There is no better time to start blogging than now, just head over to one of the numerous blogging platforms and give it a try. What’s the risk? After all, like my father always says, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

-Dan

P.S. I will be MORE than happy to answer any questions anyone may have concerning blogging. Though I may be from New Jersey, I am actually pretty friendly 🙂

Dan Fonseca is currently a Communications student at Northeastern University in Boston and writes his very own blog Synapses. He enjoys thinking about the bigger picture and looks to bring people together in anyway he can. Dan loves his brie and sushi too. Oh yeah, he’s also proud to be from New Jersey so watch what you say 🙂 You can find him on all his social media sites here. How’s that for a personal brand?

Events I’ve Allowed to Change Me

29 Mar

Everything you’ve experienced in life has led you to this very moment. A neat thing about this is that you’re always free to CHOOSE how you allow these events to color your reality and support or discount your perception. How you view the world and your place in it very much depends on how you consciously (or unconsciously) choose to process, learn, lift and grow (or not) from your life experiences, however challenging or graceful they have seemed.

This post is inspired by one of my teachers, Money Map to Freedom creator Alexis Martin Neely. I’ve borrowed the concept from a recent blog post of hers: Events That Have Changed My Life.

I now too am inspired to share some events that I’ve ALLOWED to have a positive impact in my life. The event itself hasn’t changed my life, rather, it’s my EXPERIENCE of that event – how I’ve chosen to frame, process and appreciate the lessons available (in some cases years later) that has had a lasting impact.

Note that every event Alexis mentioned and all the events I’m sharing were LIVE SEMINARS! There’s no better place to meet like-Souled folks and build your community than energetically-aligned events!

It was by some kind of a miracle that I attended Humanity Unites Brilliance (HUB)’s Awakening Your Brilliance Event in Kona on the Big Island in December of 2008. I had quit my job at a lovely art gallery just months earlier; I knew I wanted to do something that was more “my thing” and I was longing to work with kids again… but I left without a back-up.

The Awakening event announcement came into my inbox via Hawaii Health Guide and I was intrigued by those involved with HUB; folks I admired like Jack Canfield, Michael Bernard Beckwith and Barbara Marx Hubbard. None of them were in attendance but others I’ve come to love were (Janet Attwood, Faith Rivera, Charlie Stuart Gay, Lynn Rose and Rev. Karen Russo to name a few).

At the event I met local singer-songwriter Howard Shaprio of Recycle Hawaii and Performing and Fine Artists for World Peace. Less than a week later I was sharing a pidgin spoken word piece with teens at Pahoa High School! Since then I’ve made over 10 presentations with Howard and Recycle Hawaii’s Artists In The Environment Program all over East Hawaii.

Hand analyst Baeth Davis’ Life Purpose Soul Summit took place in Las Vegas early June 2009. Just reading the phrase “Soul Summit”, I knew I had to be there. At first I had little interest in the Hand Analysis that was included with the ticket. When I got my reading upon checking in I was floored. The message in my hands was “Big-Shot Innovative Spiritual Teacher” and the career in coaching I’d been considering was affirmed as well; whoa!

That weekend I some AMAZING women, many of whom I still keep in touch with. Vrinda Norman was my roommie, Heather Dominick became my first coach and I discovered Kendall Summerhawk’s brother in law was my aforementioned friend Howard! Other notable ladies I met: Heather Gray of Soul-Filled Life, Katrina Sawa of Jumpstart Your Marketing and Shirley Sukhanil. What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay there…

Two weeks later, I did end up meeting both Jack Canfield and Michael Bernard Beckwith (along with Rickie Byers Beckwith on my Birthday) at my second HUB event, Actioning Your Brilliance, this time in San Francisco. My dear friend Nachhi Rhandawa and I met for the first time in person too! She did really well capturing the moment with photos of us with other luminaries like Danish Ahmed, Freddie Ravel, Cynthia Kersey and Spryte Loriano.

The most recent noteworthy event was Max Simon’s Sold Out Seminar Secrets in San Diego last October, 2010. Another show stopper, no doubt! I met several new friends who are now clients of mine and cried three times (mainly tears of JOY)! Some of the lovelies I met were Vinca von Muhlenberg, Elizabeth Purvis, Kendra Thornbury, Kate Harrington, Tanya Laurin, Heather Vaughn and Esperanza Universal. (BTW, I found out about this event by being on Baeth Davis’ list).

The point I want to get across by sharing this with you is that you never know who you’re going to meet at an event and how they might help bring forth the next amazing experience in your life and vice versa. If you aren’t able to travel for an event that catches you eye, start one of your own in your local area! Be specific about the type of people you want there, the experience and transformation attendees will receive and have your friends and colleagues help promote it!

What fun, amazing events have you been to and who did you meet there? Do tell…

Using the Internet to Build Your Personal Brand – Dan Fonseca

16 Mar

Aloha! Yesterday I found an amazing post on Personal Branding written by Dan Fonseca of www.whoisdanfonseca.com that I’m re-posting here, paired down along with my additional comments in italics. Dan generously agreed to allow me to do this; Mahalo Dan!

As member of the Be Your Brilliance community I know you are moved to share more of yourSelf with more people so you can make an even greater contribution to others. The Internet is THE place to share of yourSelf when you’re ready to step-up your game and fully claim your Brilliance on the world stage.

Although Dan’s post was written with job seekers looking to be hired in mind his suggestions are relevant even for us trail-blazers who are moved to Co-Create lives of difference and be of Loving Service. Enjoy and please post questions in the comments below!

So what is your personal brand? Well it could mean a lot of things but I tend to think of it as a window into a person’s heart and mind. An opportunity to learn their passions, beliefs and ideas.

A traditional brand carries ideology, missions, stories and images; a personal brand is no different. We must be willing to showcase ourselves and what easier way to do it than online using social media?

Social media has revolutionized our world and it gives you the tools you need often for free. Having a blog, Twitter account, Flickr page and/or any other social media profile lets you communicate who you really are in a different light. Depending on what you want to communicate, you may want to consider a few social media sites.

Blogs
Probably your best asset out of the bunch. With tons of customizable templates and platforms, you really can’t go wrong. I personally use WordPress but Tumblr and Blogger are also solid options. With a blog you can easily communicate who you are. Think of it as your living, breathing, adaptive, and always current resume.

Twitter
The benefits are almost identical to the blog but as you can imagine they are simply communicated in smaller doses at a more frequent pace. Using Twitter in conjunction with a blog helps paint a beautiful picture of the type of person you are not to mention promote your posts. As they say, links are the soul of the Internet, it’s no different for your online personal brand.

Other Social Media Sites
Depending on the nature of your career and passions, other social media sites can be appropriate. Are you a graphic designer or a photographer? Flickr is the perfect addition to your ensemble. MySpace or BandCamp are good for musicians and Quora or TED is ideal for the thinkers out there. Put a nice bow on it and create a profile on LinkedIn, this will help aggregate yourself professionally and make it easy for the potential employers to find and discover you and your personal brand.

Overall, the personal brand will be critical moving forward. Use the Internet to your advantage and illustrate the kind of person you are. Are you creative? Have a technological side? A closet economics buff? Having yourself out there makes future opportunities more available and networking simple. Help companies (clients and customers) make sure they are picking the right person and have a personality before you walk into the door. Who knows, you may gain an audience in the process! Go forth and brand!

Here’s a link to Dan’s original guest post in it’s entirety http://reviewzntips.blogspot.com/2011/03/building-personal-brand.html. Learn more about Dan’s blog Synapses here.

If you’re looking for assistance in forwarding your mission and personal brand in service to Being Your Brilliance more fully, contact me for a complementary Get-to-Know Strategy Session at: dewi@generationnextsummit.com